Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Taking in the Beauty and Making Paint

Late Sunday afternoon I took a stroll across the street to check out the beauty of the anchor that greets one at Capt Joe & Sons.  My thoughts were of hope and trust.  I would not trust this anchor to hold one fast; and if used, knowing the condition of the anchor; all one could do is hope that it would hold.  Close inspection revealed the trust that barnacles placed upon this anchor, until it became dry docked.  How was the anchor made?  It clearly has iron in it as evidenced by the rust; but what is the grain?  it looks like wood.  hmmm...questions to be answered another day.

I carefully collected some rust from some of the inner surfaces where the rust dust was fine; along with a few other crumbs. I then ground  the rust into a finer dust with a mortar and pestle then, added some water  to form a stiff paste.  I then turned this into an egg tempera paint by adding an equal amount of egg yolk.  I was hoping for a nice deep orange; no dice.  I ended up with a yellow ocher that I am using in several paintings of keys and jelly fish.   I named the paint "Rusy Anchor"



John Kelly said...

the grain is indeed because it is iron - wrought iron which develops a layered 'grain' as the cast pig iron is wrought. As opposed to cast steel which develops a crystaline 'grain' as it cools; not unlike metamorphosed igneous rock
See Saugus Iron Works for expanded demonstration of Colonial era process

Debbie Clarke said...

Oh, thank you for this! I will see the Saugus Iron Works. I went there once when I was in art school. It is a beautiful gem!